The History of Rupert House

Rupert House School was set up in 1924 with 10 pupils in attendance, and was originally called St Joan’s School. It was re-named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine when it moved from New Street to its present location in Bell Street.  

Prince Rupert was the nephew of King Charles I, which is why there is a crown in the school’s crest.  He commanded the king’s cavalry in the English Civil War and was renowned for his extreme bravery.  One of his many battles was in Henley, and the Grade II listed school building dates from this period. 

After the king’s defeat, Prince Rupert sailed the English navy across the Atlantic, where he became a pirate of the Caribbean, later returning to become Lord of the Admiralty during the Restoration, to great acclaim.  An intellectual, scientist and artist, he co-founded The Royal Society. 

Behind its iconic blue front door, Rupert House School has gradually expanded, and visitors are often surprised by just how far it extends backwards and outwards from its original narrow town house facade.  At the end of the 20th century, the nearby playing fields on the beautiful Fairmile were added to the School’s estate.